Expanding Definitions of Fascism

The Arabs are taking the war outside of Israel. 2 Israelis were wounded by Arabs in a shooting attack in a mall in Copenhagen, Denmark. This is what I meant by these Israeli invasions just pissing Arabs off more and more.
The suspect has just turned himself in. He’s a 27 year old Dane born of Palestinian parents from Lebanon.
Hizb-ut-Tahrir (global jihad) has a presence in Denmark. They recently held a rally where they reportedly announced that all Jews everywhere were legitimate targets and wished death to them all.
In the cutting-edge debate on fascism carried out by Left theorists and mainstream political scientists, there is debate about whether or not the Al Qaeda types are fascists or not. David Neiwert of Orcinus says that they are in The Rise of Pseudo-Fascism, and recently the folks at Three Way Fight have agreed in a seminal essay entitled Two Ways of Looking At Fascism. There are some superb, cutting-edge thinkers at Three Way Fight, if you can get past the PC crap, and Matthew Lyons, the author of that essay, is one of them.
The question centers around whether or not fascism has anything to do with religion or not. Since Al Qaeda and the Taliban are so fanatically religious, it is held by traditional theorists of fascism that they cannot possibly be fascists, since fascism negates extreme religiosity.
However, the latest thinking is that both the Al Qaeda – Taliban types and the extreme rightwing Christians of the Dominionist sort in the US are actually a species of fascist.
I would really like to get away from this reductionist “Fascism only existed in Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy in the 30’s and 40’s” bullshit.
One of the excellent points that Neiwert makes in his essay is that fascism looks like anything and everything. It mutates and acts like a chameleon. It takes whatever form it needs to take in any society in order for it to take power. Fascism is the ultimate changeling. And this is what makes the damned blob of mercury called fascism so hard to pin down, and enables all sorts of more or less fascists to wiggle away and claim that since their first name isn’t Il Duce, they can’t possibly be one, nya nya nya.
People on the Right are of course the most sensitive of all about fascism, and they are usually incapable of writing responsibly about it, so most of the good scholarship has come from the Left. The Right is upset because fascism is indeed a rightwing philosophy, and they wish to deny this.
Hence a modern revisionist effort, devoid of legitimate political science, that has sought to rebrand fascism as “Leftist”. Yeah right! Unfortunately, your average dittohead has fallen for it, and “libertarian” morons have also gone in for it in a big way.

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One thought on “Expanding Definitions of Fascism”

  1. I used to be one of those “fascists only existed in Italy and Germany” people. In fact, if I really wanted to piss you off I’d say that fascists only existed in Italy. What drove me was being tired of hearing people use the term for any right wing political trend they didn’t like. Same deal with fundamentalism, a term referring to a specific historical movement, being used for any high-demand religious movement that couldn’t be labeled a “cult.” But I’ve come around on these terms. At least people basically have a good idea what you mean when you say them.
    The latest term to be used like this is “neoconservative,” meaning basically a Bushbot. But neoconservatism really is a term referring to a specific phenomenon, and most people who use it really have no clue what they mean.

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